devotions

This Is The Way It Starts

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting down with two of our students to do a little mentoring on “how one writes a devotional guide.”

Every year the students start their Mexico mornings doing devotions and in the evening they have a discussion about the topic. I have had the privilege of writing these for the past few years and this year I decided to grab a few students to join me. The reason I chose these two girls was the interest they expressed after I spoke on prayer one evening at a Youth event.

They were so encouraging and inquisitive, and that got me thinking: next time, I will invite them to help.

They gave up a chunk of their Saturday to do this with me. We met at a coffee shop and went through some “framework things.”

  • How do we start this? By praying and being with Jesus, and listening to His Spirit

  • Who are we writing for? Let’s think about who will be on the team. What do we need to be mindful of? Who is our audience?

  • Our topic for the devotions was “Hearing GOD” so we spent quite a bit of time talking about our own questions about hearing GOD. We jotted these down.

  • We talked about some of the fun and creative aspects we could include in the evening — as usual, some ideas are hilarious but never make it into the plan. Other ideas are hilarious and they do make it! Brainstorming: ideas spark ideas.

Both Martine and Grace had such interesting perspectives, feedback and ideas. They had a good pulse on what works and what doesn’t. They were so honest about their own lives too.

The next step was to meet after the rough draft was put together. We met on another Friday and walked through the details. Again, both girls had lots of valuable things to say and brought their personality to the table to shape what has been sent along with the team!

This was a first step in learning how to prepare something like this. I was thrilled to have the opportunity and my heart was filled once again by how the Lord works in the hearts of the young. The Spirit of GOD can make them wiser than their teachers (I am counting on this!) and can call them to such deep things so early on.

This is just a reminder to love and encourage and NOTICE the children and youth. It really matters that they feel a part of this family — and the way we do that is through kindness, encouragement, relationship and making ourselves available to them. Really, it is doing what Mike has called us to do — to B.L.E.S.S. Don’t be afraid to include them in what you are up to…it is the way they will learn and, it is the way we will learn too!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 


Can We Talk?

I’m not saying it always happens this way, but recently I was really troubled by something. I am not saying “something” to mask what I was troubled about; the truth is, I didn’t know what was bothering me. I found myself feeling tight and unsettled and I couldn’t sort it out. I sifted through recent events, commitments and obligations and I couldn’t place what would be bothering me.

It is my practice to sit down with God in the morning with my Bible, Journal and Pen to talk to Him, listen and hopefully take some lessons to heart. That morning I began by writing, “Lord, I don’t even get it…”

What followed brought such relief. I read some passages from the Bible, I reflected, I prayed and I listened. I wrote in my journal what I was hearing and the counsel of the Holy Spirit was so direct. He impressed on me the root of my anxiety — what it was about. And He spoke to me about what He wanted me to do about it. It was like a Q&A that day. The instruction was so clear that it left no room for argument or doubt and the burden was lifted.

I was and still am so grateful! I am so grateful for a God who untangles, advises, enlightens and encourages. I am so grateful for True Truth in a confusing and conflicted world. I know I do not need to live with a cloud over my head in a state of unrest or in a place of darkness. Our God is the God who speaks! Always has…

If you have not entered into a “devotional life” I urge you to begin. Like almost everything we learn, it doesn’t just come naturally. It comes by trying and trying again. It comes with persistence and it is something that grows.

If you believe there is a God and He wants to have a personal relationship with you, a life-giving one, and the kind where you have a back and forth conversation…how is this to happen if you don’t begin to try to communicate with Him?

On His end, He is ready and waiting. What are you waiting for?

If this is a new idea for you and you want someone to walk with you, then reach out. It is your step to take.

Some additional Bible reading resources

There are also weekly Small Groups and men’s and women’s Devotions groups. Link up! It’s such an encouraging thing to meet with Jesus in community with others!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen

 

What Are You Guys Doing?

A short story:

Recently, a few ladies and I were sitting at Bliss doing our D’s — Bibles out, journals, pens. Ladies Morning Devotions go like this: hey everybody (catch up), let’s read (quiet Bible reading and journaling), let’s talk (sharing what we heard from God).

On this particular morning we were at Bliss and a young couple was at the till right next to our booth. The girl looked over and in a friendly way called over,

“Hey, what are you guys doing?”

A little conversation followed about what we were doing and I jotted the incident down in my journal.

The funny thing was that the week before, there were a few groups of SunRidgers at Bliss doing the same thing and another woman walked up to our table and said, “Is everyone in here reading the Bible?” (If only it were so).

One of these days, I expect someone to join us. Maybe it will be a regular customer who has seen a few people “in the habit” of doing their D’s at Bliss. You never know what will catch someone’s eye and start something new in their life. There is room for them at the table.

That’s my thought for today. Keep doing your D’s and just be open to who God might invite to join you while you are hanging out with Him.

Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen

 

In The Garden

Like so many others who are able to till, seed, and water the soil to bring forth plant life (I exclude myself from this list), Shawn and Lisa Klassen put in a grandé garden this summer. As we heard this past Sunday, it was Shawn's idea and he brought Lisa and Mac into his vision and behold there were vegetables, lots of vegetables.

I love what their garden became this summer: not just a place to feast on fresh produce, but a sacred space to "do devotions," to ponder what is growing in the depths of our lives, feeding on God's Word. At different times over this summer season, the Klassens had people over to linger in their garden, read the Bible, journal a bit and share. Lisa described this in the photo below, taken in their garden:

IMG_3589.JPG

"Devos in the garden.
Quiet reflection on passages, journaling,
sharing and prayer. Just simple get-togethers
where we invite others to do devos together."
-- Lisa and Connie

What I love is how Lisa and Shawn made space for this...or better put, made this space to include this.

When I think of devotions, it is something we do intentionally in our lives, but there is so much creativity as to the how and when and where and with whom. Spending time in God's Word doesn't need to be complicated. You don't need a big lead up. You don't need a giant amount of time. You don't need to "be a great writer" and you don't even need to "be a big reader." What you need is a seeking heart and a willingness to let the Holy Spirit teach you.

You can sit in interesting places with God, you can steal 15 minutes at a coffee shop, you can invite a friend to create a shared experience.

The Bible says, "Certainly the Lord watches the whole earth carefully..." (I am sure He saw a few people who just happen to be opening God's Word in a garden in Kelowna) "and is ready to strengthen those who are devoted to Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9 NET

Devoted = very loving or loyal, to study and discuss = devotions.

If you haven't figured out what this looks like in your own life, you can

  • contact any of the @sunridge.org staff (mike@sunridge.org, shawn@sunridge.org, teresa@sunridge.org etc.). We will meet with you and walk with you!
  • stop by the Connect Centre on a Sunday
  • access a reading guide here (remember, you don't have to conquer the guide. Read some, read all...there are no rules here)
  • Get in touch online here and we will get back to you about a devotional life!

Don't let this year go by without meeting with Jesus regularly. You will find Him in all kinds of interesting places...

Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen